Journalists love reports from Auditor General’s slamming this or that. Easy, dramatic stories to write. Somewhere, buried beneath the noise created by such headline-grabbing reports are some hardworking public servants (not an oxymoron), including IT pros, beavering away implementing project x, y or z. I reckon those involved with Victoria’s Electronic Commerce for Procurement (EC4P) have copped a bit of a harsh slap. Let’s face it, early projections of “annual $60 million to $240 million” savings always had as much credibility as an online dog walking service. E-market procurement initiatives aren’t magic money machines. But if savings of $11 million will actually be realised this year as a result of EC4P, then that’s nothing to sneeze at.
Big fish devour small fish
Ignore all the crap about complementary product lines and all that, PeopleSoft buying JD Edwards is about survival within a punishing US enterprise software market that’s coalescing around fewer and fewer brands.
Various commentators have observed that even if PeopleSoft buys JD Edwards in a stock swap worth some $US1.5 billion it will still be a much smaller outfit than heavyweights SAP and Oracle.
That may be true but that doesn’t mean this pending acquisition isn’t a significant change for users of JD Edwards ERP, supply chain, CRM and other products. It’s obviously going to take some time before we get any real information about how the product lines will shake out.
Making things more uncertain for the JD Edwards/PeopleSoft customer base is news of Oracle’s proposed $US5.1 billion hostile takeover of PeopleSoft. Described as a spoiling tactic by some analysts, JD Edwards chairman and CEO Bob Dutkowsky claims that combining PeopleSoft and JD Edwards would offer customers access to a stronger, more diversified company, while an Oracle-PeopleSoft deal would be a consolidating move allowing Oracle to run roughshod over PeopleSoft’s customers. What a mess. I can’t see any of this bringing any real benefit to the existing customer base(s) and buyers of enterprise software.
By the way, also this week, Palm is buying smartphone maker Handspring, supposedly so the companies can create a stronger, single business in a weak market for handheld devices. Don’t know about you, but I think about the only thing do-everything handhelds do well is full colour Tetris.
SCO v Linux
Do’h. It’s now clear that Novell did manage to sell Unix to SCO predecessor Caldera and at the same time not transfer copyrights and patents to SCO. SCO’s run at Linux is just an amusing sideshow, except for the IBM lawyers and the PRs who can’t comment.